URBANA — A Champaign County judge Friday gave a multiple convicted felon a break by sentencing him to only 2 1/2 years in prison for his seventh felony conviction.
Michael L. Huffman, 32, whose last known address was in the 3400 block of Timberline Drive, Champaign, told Judge Tom Difanis he was tired of being addicted to drugs and committing crime.
"I want to be a father. I know I've had chances before. I wish I would have come to this point before," said the father of three children.
Huffman pleaded guilty in June to aggravated battery, admitting that he made physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with a taxi cab driver in Champaign on Nov. 8.
A more serious charge of armed robbery was dismissed in return for his plea. Difanis said reading through the facts as presented at the time of the plea, it appeared that Huffman merely didn't have the money to pay for the cab ride and wasn't really intending to rob the cab driver when he got into a physical confrontation with him.
Huffman had prior convictions for domestic battery, burglary and possession of a controlled substance and was on parole for the latter at the time of his arrest in February.
Assistant State's Attorney Scott Bennett recommended an eight-year prison term and objected to Difanis considering Huffman for drug court.
Huffman's attorney, Jim Dedman of Urbana, urged Difanis to consider drug court, saying that Huffman now realizes "he's frittered away so many good chances."
Given credit for 183 days he's already served in jail, Huffman will likely be released from prison in less than a year.
"You know what you have to do," Difanis told him, referring to the help Huffman has already been getting for his alcohol and drug addictions while in the jail.